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A major obstacle, which significantly impacted Belgian e-commerce, has finally been overcome: from now on, night work is allowed, which means that parcels can now also be shipped during the night. This is an amazing New Year’s gift for all web stores!
When you order something online, chances are that the parcel will ship from a distribution centre that is not located in Belgium but in the Netherlands. The reason is quite simple: in Belgium, night work is forbidden in the trade and distribution sector.
This is a major handicap, especially when you consider that 60% of online orders are placed between 3 PM and midnight, as UNIZO administrator Karel Van Eetvelt declared. If these orders could be processed during the night, they would be delivered to the customer the next day. Unfortunately, that was not possible in Belgium, and so our country almost missed the boat of e-commerce. As a consequence, the business and logistics activities were relocated to neighbouring countries, particularly to the Netherlands. This would even have cost 8,000 jobs and 2.4 billion euros in missed sales opportunities!
After several months of intense negotiations, trade unions and employers finally reached an agreement on night work right at the end of 2015. This framework agreement sets out general principles for the entire trade and distribution sector. So, each company can now set the concrete conditions that govern the organisation of night work.
This is a godsend for Belgian e-commerce, which can now catch up with its northern neighbours. So, at the beginning of this New Year, we wish all web stores the best of luck with sales/shopping for 2016!
When you make the first step towards night work with your web store, it is good to know that Combell is also there for you day and night. Do you have a problem with your web store? Do you urgently require more bandwidth or more capacity because an item has suddenly become a big seller? You do not need to wait until the next day – you can contact our helpdesk during the night if you want; we are happy to assist you 24/7. We think along with you!
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